Colorado Movie Theater Shooting: 12 dead 71 injured
A lone gunman, no motives established yet by the law enforcement, walked into a Denver suburb movie theater in Colorado early Friday with three automatic weapons where a midnight showing of the Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises" was been screened opened fire instantly killing ten - two succumbed in the hospital later - and wounding 70 others, some critical, in a latest spree of violence in a country that firearms are freely available for even felons.
The Asian Tribune understands from the reports reaching the Online Daily that the suspect, identified as a 24-year James Holmes a doctoral student of neuroscience at the University of Colorado dressed head to foot in body armor and brandishing the three weapons, including an assault rifle.
The theater crowded with families and children at a midnight showing of the Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises”.
Police say Holmes, 24, dressed head-to-toe in protective tactical gear, set off two devices of some kind before spraying the theater with bullets from an AR-15 rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun and at least one of two .40-caliber handguns police recovered at the scene.
A law enforcement source said the weapons were purchased legally at sporting goods stores in the Denver area over the past six months.
Oates said investigators are "confident" that Holmes acted alone.
The shooting unfolded inside a darkened theater packed with Batman fans, some in costume for the premiere of the movie "The Dark Knight Rises." Screaming, panicked moviegoers scrambled to escape from the black-clad gunman, who wore a gas mask and randomly shot as he walked up the theater's steps, witnesses said.
The gunman went to the rear door of Century 16 theater and propped it open, then tossed in a canister before starting to shoot, according to a federal law enforcement source involved in the investigation.
Holmes surrendered without resistance within seven minutes of the first calls from panicked moviegoers reporting the shooting, Oates said. He is scheduled to appear in court on Monday, court officials said.
Police officers swarming to the theater encountered bloody, groaning victims streaming out of the complex. Others remained inside, many with gruesome injuries, according to recordings of emergency calls with dispatchers.
Victims flooded overwhelmed hospitals. One of the injured is just 4 months old, the child's mother said. The infant was treated and released from the hospital.
President Barack Obama canceled campaign events Friday, telling supporters at what had been scheduled as a rally in Fort Myers, Florida, that "there will be other days for politics."
"This will be a day for prayer and reflection," he said, calling for the country to unite as one and support the victims.
"Such violence, such evil is senseless. It is beyond reason," he said before ending the event to return to Washington.
Flags at the White House were lowered to half-staff Friday afternoon in honor of the victims.
President Obama said:
"Ultimately it's how we choose to treat one another and how we love one another," President Obama said about the shooting in a Colorado movie theater. "It's what we do on a daily basis to give our lives meaning and to give our lives purpose. That's what matters. At the end of the day, what we'll remember will be those we loved and what we did for others. That's why we're here. I'm sure that many of you who are parents here have the same reaction that I did when I heard this news. My daughters go to the movies. What if Malia and Sasha had been at the theater, as so many of our kids do every day? Michelle and I will be fortunate enough to hug our girls a little tighter tonight and I'm sure you will do the same with your children."
"I think is a day for prayer and reflection," Obama said in conclusion. "I'd like us to pause in a moment of silence of the victims of this terrible tragedy."
- Asian Tribune –